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Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.
"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary Stalingrad" in the East.
...Michels said the EU can help governments that are finding it hard to sell their bonds without violating the bloc’s “no bail-out” clause. Any insolvency of a euro region country would be “fraught with significant costs” for the EU as a whole.
AUSTRALIA'S biggest and most reliable customer, Japan, has plunged into depression, with federal Treasurer Wayne Swan now warning of the worst global downturn "in our lifetimes".
- Japan among worst hit
- Businesses forecast losses
- Australian export fears
Japan's economy shrank an annualised 12.7 per cent over the December quarter, its worst result since the 1974 oil shock.
Japan is by far Australia's biggest export customer, accounting for one in every five container ships that leave Australia's shores.
The new figures put it among the worst-hit casualties of the global crisis.
The annualised contraction of 12.7 per cent, or 3.3 per cent in quarterly terms, dwarfs those of the United States and Europe and is much worse than anything that happened to Japan during its so-called "lost decade" of recession in the 1990s.
The collapse in growth fits the profile of a depression — a deep recession in which annual GDP falls by 10 per cent or more.
Originally posted by pause4thought
Oh all right.
DJ down 3.33%
Hardly seems newsworthy these days.